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* [[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming Idiosyncratic Chapter Naming]]: Each chapter, with the exception of "My Self-Defense Catastrophe" is named after a song. Most of them have been by Biting Elbows, [[AuthorAppeal a band that Fluffy likes.]] [[WordOfGod Word of Fluffy is that]] [[SuspiciouslyAproposMusic almost every Biting Elbows song can summarize Kraber's life and experiences.]]

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* [[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming Idiosyncratic Chapter Naming]]: Each chapter, with the exception of "My Self-Defense Catastrophe" is named after a song. Most of them have been by Biting Elbows, [[AuthorAppeal a band that Fluffy likes.]] [[WordOfGod Word of Fluffy is that]] [[SuspiciouslyAproposMusic almost every Biting Elbows song can summarize Kraber's life and experiences.]]


* BruiserWithASoftCenter: Much of the second arc seems to be Kraber rediscovering how to be one. Apparently, ItRunsInTheFamily, as Kraber claims his father would put him and his siblings through training that Rivet and Verity consider to be borderline-abusive. However, [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming his father would also take them out for milkshakes after said training.]]

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* BruiserWithASoftCenter: Much of the second arc seems to be Kraber rediscovering how to be one. Apparently, ItRunsInTheFamily, as Kraber claims his father would put him and his siblings through training that Rivet and Verity consider to be borderline-abusive. However, [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming his father would also take them out for milkshakes after said training.]]


->''First published February 5, 2016''

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->''First published Published:''' February 5, 05th, 2016''


** [[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/207968/last-train-from-oblivion#comment/5701150 As Kizuna Tallis pointed out]], the fact that the ponification serum only recognizes the biological sex of the human convert (meaning a transman would get turned into a mare and a transwoman into a stallion) can be read as a take that against Chatoyance, herself a transwoman who has occasionally expressed {{Otherkin}} tendencies.

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** [[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/207968/last-train-from-oblivion#comment/5701150 As Kizuna Tallis pointed out]], the fact that the ponification serum only recognizes the biological sex of the human convert (meaning a transman would get turned into a mare and a transwoman into a stallion) can be read as a take that against Chatoyance, herself a transwoman who has occasionally expressed {{Otherkin}} UsefulNotes/{{Otherkin}} tendencies.


* ADayInTheLimelight: For Anna Erklass, especially, since the previous two ChristmasSpecials focused on her sister and her grandfather.

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* ADayInTheLimelight: For Anna Erklass, especially, especially since the previous two ChristmasSpecials {{Christmas Episode}}s focused on her sister and her grandfather.



* ForegoneConclusion: Though the story takes place before things get rolling, a few things stand out; [[spoiler: Anna will become Elsa's first host after she was cursed, and the genocide is still yet to come]].

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* ForegoneConclusion: Though the story takes place before things get rolling, a few things stand out; out, namely that [[spoiler: Anna will become Elsa's first host after she was cursed, and the genocide is still yet to come]].

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* AdaptationExpansion: Expands greatly on Celestia and Luna's past as Elsa's charge.


* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Two, in fact - [[Disney/Frozen Anna and Elsa Erklass]].

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* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Two, in fact - [[Disney/Frozen [[Disney/{{Frozen}} Anna and Elsa Erklass]].

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[[/folder]]

[[folder: ''A Sun in Winter'']]
-> '''First Published:''' Dec. 27th 2016

* ActionPrologue: The prologue takes place from the viewpoint of Lilja, a doe mage tasked with retrieving the infant alicorns Celestia and Luna.
* ADayInTheLimelight: For Anna Erklass, especially, since the previous two ChristmasSpecials focused on her sister and her grandfather.
* BabiesMakeEverythingBetter: Subverted; Anna strongly mistrusts ponykind, and initially begs Sint to send Celestia and Luna away from Adlaborn.
* BaitAndSwitch: The prologue feels more like a conventional epic fantasy, before the story switches over to Anna, taking a more Slice of Life tone.
* BigBad: The Krampus, a genderless, satanic entity imprisoned by Sint Erklass, and the figure behind the intensifying predatory attacks.
* ChristmasSpecial: The third one.
* DistantPrologue: An extended one for ''Joy to the Worlds'' and the whole of Spectrum, taking place in the distant past.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Two, in fact - [[Disney/Frozen Anna and Elsa Erklass]].
* FantasticRacism: Ponykind's conflicts have painted a less than stellar image for them - but the birth of Celestia and Luna throws any prejudices out the window for Sint Erklass.
* ForegoneConclusion: Though the story takes place before things get rolling, a few things stand out; [[spoiler: Anna will become Elsa's first host after she was cursed, and the genocide is still yet to come]].
* HiddenElfVillage: Adlaborn, and its main city Vologda.
* LighterAndSofter: The most lighthearted story in the entire Spectrumverse - contrast ''The Light Despondent'' and ''Last Train''.
* PredatorsAreMean: The Krampus' underlings are shown to consist of predatory animals, such as wolves and polar bears. Even the demonic Windigos are implied to consume flesh as well.
* ProperlyParanoid: Anna is terrified of the possibility that outside forces will come for her homeland, with the foals inside. Given that Lilja was nearly killed in her mission, she may be right.
* ScrewDestiny: Sint Erklass denounces the idea that Celestia and Luna shouldn't be taught how to lead, in direct contrast with The Scribe's plans.
* SealedEvilInACan: The Krampus is imprisoned in a magically reinforced snowglobe, with enchanted snow keeping him from breaking free.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: A... fairly lighthearted fantasy tale in the past, compared to the main story's contemporary tones.

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* BreakingTheFourthWall: Kraber's hallucination, Victory. ''Frequently.''
-->[[SelfDeprecation “But ponies have spontaneous musical numbers all the time! And that one’s perfect for you! The audience is probably already pissed off enough that Pinkie Pie’s in one of the character tags but barely appears…”]]


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* BreatherEpisode: Seems to be in the middle of this as of chapter 13.
* BruiserWithASoftCenter: Much of the second arc seems to be Kraber rediscovering how to be one. Apparently, ItRunsInTheFamily, as Kraber claims his father would put him and his siblings through training that Rivet and Verity consider to be borderline-abusive. However, [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming his father would also take them out for milkshakes after said training.]]


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** "[[Anime/DeadLeaves Have you seen my Heliotrope?"]]


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* CowardlyLion: Nny. Stutters in fear when PER are holding him at gun-and-potionpoint... then [[GroinAttack makes good on his stuttering, terrified threat to smash a man's balls into a bloody paste.]] [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill With a shotgun.]]


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* CruelAndUnusualDeath: ...''Many.''
** The various tortures visited on ponies, PER and PHL alike...
** Combining an UnrealisticBlackHole grenade with a HelicopterBlender...
** Kraber kneecapping people and beating them to bloody pulps...
** Killing people and ponies with a GroinAttack...
** Apparently, Nny killed a man by grinding him to bits with a steam locomotive.
* CrypticBackgroundReference: The subject of the interviews, which have raised a few mysteries in-story:
** Why are so many of them so focused on totem-proles?
** Who is the New Researcher?
** Who - or ''what'' - is Gestalt?


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* DistractedByTheSexy: When Kraber takes off his shirt to use it as an improvised tourniquet, apparently Fiddlesticks is... distracted... by the view.


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* GroinAttack: Three, in rapid succession during "It's Another Day."


->''First published February 5, 2016'''

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->''First published February 5, 2016'''2016''



* InMediasRes: Combines with DistantPrologue - the story starts sometime before the DistantPrologue to ''Light Despondent,'' flashes back to pre-war, then settles in early 2022 of January.

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* InMediasRes: Combines with DistantPrologue - the story starts sometime before the DistantPrologue to ''Light Despondent,'' Despondent'', flashes back to pre-war, then settles in early 2022 of January.



** The story itself, actually - it was alluded to as early as March of 2015, with a mention of Johnny C, Fiddlesticks, and several others having recovered a totem-prole from Alaska. The specifics were vague, but Fluffy physically couldn't keep himself from writing it.

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** The story itself, actually itself is an explanation of one - it was alluded to as early as March of 2015, with a mention of Johnny C, Fiddlesticks, and several others having recovered a totem-prole from Alaska. The specifics were vague, but Fluffy physically couldn't keep himself from writing it.

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[[foldercontrol]]

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[[/folder]]

[[folder: ''Snowbound'']]
->''First published February 5, 2016'''
* AbsentMindedProfessor: Kgalakgadi.
* UsefulNotes/{{Alaska}}: The setting of the story. [[WordOfGod Word of Fluffy]] is that it was inspired by the long list of abandoned things one can find out there - be it abandoned trains, abandoned military installations, or wolf puppies.
* BodyHorror: Johnny C claims to have seen a man's artificial hip exploding out of his body as he was being ponified.
* CloudCuckooLander: Johnny C, to the point of [[TooDumbToLive forgetting to wear a winter coat when getting out of an airplane.]]
* CoolTrain: The 501, a large 2-8-0 steam locomotive made for hauling cargo that debuted in ''Light Despondent'', returns!
* CreatorProvincialism: Yes and no. While New Hampshire, and the author's family farm show up, it's very much not the focus of the story.
* DescriptionCut: Henri Bartholomeaux explains how sensitive the information in his decoy briefcase is, and how it's probably safe. Cut to [[EyeScream a PER spy screaming about something in their eyes.]]
* HandCannon: Johnny C carries a revolver so massive it's described as "almost the length of his forearm" and he holsters it on his back.
* InMediasRes: Combines with DistantPrologue - the story starts sometime before the DistantPrologue to ''Light Despondent,'' flashes back to pre-war, then settles in early 2022 of January.
* NoodleIncident: Kraber claims, in the DistantPrologue, to have died before, [[MajorInjuryUnderreaction claiming that "it hurt"]].
** The story itself, actually - it was alluded to as early as March of 2015, with a mention of Johnny C, Fiddlesticks, and several others having recovered a totem-prole from Alaska. The specifics were vague, but Fluffy physically couldn't keep himself from writing it.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: The incredibly irritable characters we see introduced early in the story? They end up being sent to investigate the mysterious signal found up north.
* RescueRomance: Suggested to be between Johnny C and Fiddlesticks, as the former shot HLF attempting to kill Fiddlesticks on the grounds of his family apple farm.
* ShownTheirWork: Fluffy did a lot of research on Alaska for the story.
* TrueCompanions: Johnny C and Fiddlesticks.
* WorldOfSnark: Everyone has a witty comment in response to ''everyone''.

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[[/folder]]

[[folder: ''Joy To The Worlds'']]
-> '''First Published:''' Dec. 25th 2014

* ADayInTheLimelight: For Sint Erklass.
* AfterTheEnd: Takes place just after the extermination of the reindeer.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: As seen at the top of this very tropes page, the author's notes describe the Spectrumverse as filled with "genocide, madness, infanticide, fanaticism and pop-cultural references".
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:The bad news is that Sint perishes at the end, and the reindeer almost completely exterminated. The good news is that Elsa survives (although being a piece of cloth, she can't do much unless she possesses a host), as well as the siblings Eadmund and Lucie. The story ends after he blesses the two with his powers and sends them off to Earth to aid humanity, finally passing away]].
* ChristmasEpisode: Well, a Hearthswarming Episode, technically. And a far darker and sadder example than others.
* ContinuityNod: Frost Wind, the little colt that finds himself missing the Reindeer on Hearthswarming Eve, knows Aquamarine Glimmer and Comet Tail from the Asia Side Story, and is the cousin of Stellar Wind from ''Adrift''.
* CultureChopSuey[-/-]CrystalDragonJesus: Hearthswarming incorporates elements of both Christmas and Hanukkah.
* DefiantToTheEnd[-/-]LastStand: Sint Erklass refuses to go down without a fight.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Weaver successfully kills the ''oldest living being in Equestria''.
* ForegoneConclusion: TCB!Sint Erklass was mentioned to have been killed in the main story, while the reindeer were exterminated.
* GenocideBackfire: [[spoiler:Despite their efforts, the Solar Empire didn't totally exterminate all of the reindeer, and it's clear that the survivors will make them pay for what they did]].
* LastOfTheirKind: For the reindeer of TCB!Equus, there's Elsa (whose soul is bound to a cloak), and two orphaned siblings named Eadmund and Lucie.
* TheMagicGoesAway: What Frost Wind feels about Hearthswarming without the reindeer.
* MyMasterRightOrWrong: Weaver, Sint's assassin, tells him she doesn't like what she is ordered to do, but will carry out her Queen's will.
* StayWithMeUntilIDie: Inverted. TCB!Elsa decides to stay with her dying grandfather rather than be worn by one of the two orphans.
* WhenYouComingHomeDad: Frost Wind's older brother Winter Truce promised that he would be back by Hearthswarming. As he serves in the Royal Guard and going by their mother's evasive reluctance to talk about it, it's more likely than not that he was killed in action.

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[[folder: ''Last Train From Oblivion'']]
-> '''First Published:''' Aug. 03rd 2014

* AlternateHistory: Another thing that went differently in TCB!Equestria is that following the Changelings' failed invasion of Canterlot, the Royal Guards went out and purged every hive they could find.
* AnyoneCanDie: ''Much'' more pronounced here than in the other stories, especially since the protagonists aren't exactly larger-than-life action heroes like Marcus, Stephan or the Dragons of the East members.
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: According to "Lost in Dispatches II", every captured HLF insurgent goes [[VillainousBSOD completely silent]] when they're asked [[FridgeLogic how they plan to stop The Barrier without magic]].
* AuthorAppeal: Trains are a subject of no small interest to the author.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: PER member Rio Deneter willingly lets herself be ponified because she legitimately thought ponification would be the answer to all of her life's problems and it would take the pain of her DarkAndTroubledPast away. She is utterly dismayed (to put it lightly) to find out that even though she willingly joined them, the Solar Empire only cares enough for how she can benefit their xenocidal cause.
-->'''Spell Configuration Daemon (speaking with Twilight Sparkle's voice):''' "We don't need your soul. Just the bits of it that are useful to us. Besides, this is what you wanted, deep down. Freedom from your past."
* BigBrotherIsWatching: The Baltimare segment of "A Tale of Three Cities" shows that TCB!Celestia uses "totem-proles" to simultaneously broadcast to and monitor the Equestrian population, not unlike [[Literature/NineteenEightyFour telescreens]].
* BlackAndGrayMorality: Though it's a hell of a lot darker than most Spectrum-verse stories.
* BreakTheHaughty: Failing a Sonic Rainboom, being put in the presence of what's implied to be the sentient embodiments of the TCB!Elements of Harmony (as in, the actual Elements such as Laughter and Generosity, etc, not the Bearers), then catapulted into an unfamiliar world, wings nearly destroyed from the pain? It has not been a good day to be Lightning Dust.
** This also goes for Verity Carter, who was ponified while somehow retaining her personality and free will. Unfortunately, she was also a member of one of the top HLF units, and as a result, they're all gunning for her, even when she asked for shelter.
* TheCloudCuckooLanderWasRight: HLF member [[TakeThat John Birch]] claims to have seen [[spoiler:ponies kidnapping people before Equestria manifested on Earth]]. He may or may not have actually seen this happen, but seeing as this canonically ''did'' happen, he's still correct.
* CoolTrain: The CPX-9782.
* CrypticBackgroundReference: ''Many'' in "Bloodstained Sketches of a Small Town". It mentions several HLF units, such as the Swiss 'Glanzon's Gluemakers', the Russian 'Oborots', the Serpents, the Heidelberg Brigade, Old Skinner's assortment of units, and someone named Kagan Burakgazi that's apparently almost as bad as Kraber and defected around the same time...
* DarkerAndEdgier: The main story wasn't exactly sunshine and rainbows, but when you have comparatively normal human protagonists, newfoal "flesh pits" and newborn babies being ponified ''on-page,'' you get one of the bleakest side stories yet.
* ADayInTheLimelight: We get to see TCB!Cheese Sandwich and Coco Pommel on duty for the Equestrian Resistance in "The Double Hook".
* DefectorFromDecadence: Apparently, this happens very often among HLF members. Reasons usually range from either growing disillusioned with the group's extremist methods, guilt, or just realizing that the HLF is incredibly ineffectual when compared to the PHL.
** The Equestrian Resistance (aka the New Lunar Republic) is a decidedly patriotic version of this - ponies who recognize Equestria's descent into madness and wish to save it from the Tyrant's control.
* DieselPunk
* EquivalentExchange: For some reason, to be transported to Prime!Equestria, Marcus needed to be exchanged with Prime!Lightning Dust.
* {{Expy}}: "Iron" Kreme-Brulee is one of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, builder of the ''Great Eastern'', one of the world's largest ships.
** One of his companions is a "Mr. Isneigh," which is presumably a pun on J. Bruce Ismay, a prominent passenger on ''The Titanic.''
* FantasticRacism: Tess Jones might dislike the HLF and their methods, but the sheer amount of atrocities she's seen committed by the ponies hasn't made her well-inclined towards the PHL either.
** BoomerangBigot: Verity Carter is a Newfoal that used to be an HLF member, and has kept her original personality.
* FearlessFool: Implied with this quote from Lightning Dust:
--> Not quite fear, as that was the kind of emotion she associated with being a daredevil pony and soon-to-be Wonderbolt; fear was something to overcome and destroy.\\
No, this was the pain of slowly eroding confidence. Slow, rather slight, but noticeable. And when she lost that core of herself, well she'd not be Lightning Dust any more, just a useless frightened filly.
* FictionalDocument: Continuing from ''Calm Before The Storm'''s example. But it also has an entire chapter full of in-universe quotes.
* GenderBender: [[spoiler: John Birch]] ends up ponified and turns into a mare after a particularly painful GroinAttack.
** FirstLawOfGenderbending: Subverted tragically in one character's backstory. Turns out that [[spoiler: Verity's mother Jazmin was a transwoman who took the potion to cure her Alzheimer's Disease. It only recognized her biological sex, and her newfoal form ended up being that of a stallion, and every bit as brainwashed as any other newfoal]].
* HopeSpot: Readers get treated to a flashback in Baltimare shortly after the end of the Crystal War. Ponies are celebrating, Celestia is still a princess, and Sweetie Belle and Babs Seed have been invited by Fancy Pants to attend the unveiling of the ''Great Equestrian'' airship, which is to introduce a new era of harmony and progress – then the crystal statue at the heart of the ship representing Equus's races joined in friendship (which, like all Equestrian crystals, is magically connected to its namesake country) explodes, killing and injuring several passengers. This is immediately followed by Celestia announcing that she has taken the Crystal Throne, her revealing Earth's existence to the nation, and stating her intention to "spread harmony" to this new world.
** DayOfTheJackboot: The zebra ambassador declares that Celestia is acting in violation of the [[BindingAncientTreaty Concordia Maxima]] by not consulting the other species of Equus on the matter of FirstContact, while Sweetie, Babs, Fancy and Luna are horrified by the sudden death around them. Sadly, they are voices lost in the ocean of crowds of ponies in the streets below them that are cheering for what amounts to the birth of the Solar Empire.
* HumansAreCthulhu: Lightning Dust is downright disturbed at some of humanity's accomplishments.
** In something of an inversion, she's also unaware that Earth does not in actuality ''have'' weather teams, causing the presence of a hurricane to make her incredibly angry and call the local weather team idiots.
* IndustrializedEvil: [[spoiler: The totem-proles use the powers and bodies of crystal ponies as raw materials]].
* InternalReformist: What Redd Flamel hoped to be, honestly believing he could change the HLF into something better than the PHL by bringing organization to its chaos. [[DroppedABridgeOnHim He gets ponified before he even gets the chance]].
* JustBeforeTheEnd: While most ''Spectrum'' stories have this in their tone, ''Last Train'' deserves special mention for how much it emphasizes this. More specifically, it takes place one week before Marcus is sent to Prime!Equestria, right when the Barrier is close to touching America, which would mean humanity's defeat is ''very'' likely unless a miracle happens.
* MadeASlave[-/-]SexSlave[-/-]SexBot: PER member Rio Deneter willingly lets herself be ponified, and is programmed (read: {{mind rape}}d) into becoming the fuck toy of a barrack of Royal Guards to "keep their morale up". What makes this especially horrifying is the fact that she states she was raped at some point in her past, which made her hesitant to have sex again. Ironically (and just as horrifying), it also gives her the ability and inclination to mind-control victims so she can literally ''rape them.''
* MindRape: The story shows ponification... from the perspective of one being ponified. It's [[NightmareFuel incredibly unpleasant]].
* OhMyGods: Rather disturbingly, some ponies (but mostly Firelock) swear by Lyra's name.
* PhlebotinumRebel: Verity Carter. Though given how the PHL stated she's not actually a newfoal, there is some question as to how much of a rebel she truly is...
* PsychicDreamsForEveryone: Lightning Dust has a [[NightmareFuel particularly bizarre dream sequence]] featuring her randomly inhabiting the bodies of other characters in the fic, such as TCB!Cheese Sandwich, TCB!Maud Pie, and a PER member.
* PsychoForHire: The HLF has more than a few of these around.
* ReliablyUnreliableGuns: The Famas F1's various mechanical problems are depicted accurately here.
* ShownTheirWork: Lightning Dust's flight along the New England coast can be accurately traced in [=GoogleMaps=].
** And all the locations shown in the fic are accurate.
* SinisterSurveillance: The totem proles, naturally.
* TakeThat
** John Birch is one to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Birch_Society John Birch Society]], and Colonel Atlas Dagney Galt is one to ''Literature/AtlasShrugged''.
*** In fact, Galt is one to UsefulNotes/{{objectivism}} in general. Neither Fluffy nor [=TB3=] have nice things to say about Ayn Rand's philosophy.
** An InUniverse example - The ''Great Equestrian'' was made as one to Princess Celestia, and the beginnings of TCB!Equestria. [[spoiler: It backfired. Violently]].
** [[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/207968/last-train-from-oblivion#comment/5701150 As Kizuna Tallis pointed out]], the fact that the ponification serum only recognizes the biological sex of the human convert (meaning a transman would get turned into a mare and a transwoman into a stallion) can be read as a take that against Chatoyance, herself a transwoman who has occasionally expressed {{Otherkin}} tendencies.
*** Making this funnier or more disturbing, the transwoman that this is demonstrated on was named Jason when she was male... which is widely believed to be Chatoyance's birth name. [[WordOfGod Word of TB3]] [[https://www.fimfiction.net/group/206246/spectrum-crew/thread/181225/how-many-of-you-have-been-blocked-by-chatoyance#comment/4420039 states]] that it was all coincidental, but Vox, Fluffy, and Kizuna agree that it's funny nevertheless.
* TemporalParadox: Prime!Lightning was sent back in time, and she's going to die.
* ToThePain: Mercy's speech to Lightning Dust, describing what exactly will happen if the wrong people find her:
-->'''Mercy''': "I'm going to stop you right there. There are men and stallions, mares and women out there, who would work you over for hours as you begged for mercy that would never come... Then, if they didn't believe you, they'd hand you over to people you don't want to think about. And those are the ones that don't hate ponies. If the HLF get their hands on you, you're doomed and you will die alone, grounded, and crippled. Right now, I'm urging you to dye your mane and hide away somewhere, put the name 'Lightning Dust' behind you, and just try to ride out this blood storm without getting it on your hooves. Go to the Pacific, I don't care, just do yourself a favor get as far away from all of this as you possibly can."
* TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior: Firelock, an incredibly irritable filly that works as a ChildSoldier displays many traits of this.
** There's also Maddy, a ten-year-old member of the PER who actually ''looked forward'' to being ponified. That line of thinking gets dashed pretty quickly, and even then, it's only because she felt she "wasn't ready." She also objects to Tess giving [[spoiler: Jean-Eric]] a MercyKill to prevent his ponification, treating it like the former's MoralEventHorizon (but again, she gets called out on this).
* WarRefugees: Again, deserves special mention.
* WasOnceAMan: Verity Carter. She's supposedly a sentient newfoal, yet some hints dropped in the story (and various {{Unreveal}}s in ''Calm'' and ''Light'') point to a completely different origin.
** [[spoiler: [[BigBrotherIsWatching The totem-proles]] are revealed to be this in ''Lost in Dispatches II''. They're actually crystal ponies, mostly amnesiacs or prisoners of war, transformed into [[PoweredByAForsakenChild living computers]] [[BodyHorror beyond any recognition]]. ''And they're [[AndIMustScream still conscious.]]'']]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: ''The Light Despondent'']]
-> '''First Published:''' Nov. 02nd 2014

* AuthorAppeal[=/=]RuleOfCool: The reason steam locomotives appear so often. And dogs. And also guns. And references to Biting Elbows.
* ADayInTheLimelight: For Kraber, and the HLF in general.
* {{Animorphism}}: Besides general acts of ponification, it's mentioned that while there are natural born bat-ponies, most of Luna's [[PraetorianGuard Night Guards]] were other breeds placed under an enchantment that turned them into bat-ponies. The justification in-story being that Night Guards are rare enough, so it'd probably be hard to have an entire corps of natural-born Night Guard.
** GenderBender: One Night Guard, Lunar Phase, is a stallion who requested that his bat-pony form be female. It's apparently a stop-gap solution to being transsexual, as s/he still has to undo the transformation periodically lest s/he "burn out."
* BilingualBonus: The title of chapter 2, 'Bosbefok', is Afrikaans slang for [=PTSD=]. It's fitting, to say the least.
* BreakOutTheMuseumPiece[=/=]SteamNeverDies: In response to high fuel costs, steam engines are used more.
* CallForward: Kraber professes a desire to shoot Celestia with an anti-materiel rifle, particularly a 20mm one. Aegis suggests he tone it down to a .50 caliber, but judging by Kraber's wishes for a 20mm in ''Trust'' in the main story, he never quite gets over this.
** Lunar Phase mentions that 'Diamond' Mint Jewelup is probably going to have something really terrible happen to her in Equestria Forward Operations. (''Last Train'')
* CheerfulChild: Dancing Day.
* ChristmasEpisode: Technically, the whole story so far, with the exception of the DistantPrologue. It's revealed in chapter 3 that Kraber's been telling the whole story on Christmas Eve... only for him to get beat up by Verity, and resume the story in the same hospital room as her on Christmas Day. Funnily enough, it's actually ''the same Christmas episode as The King's Speech'', as the characters end up hearing King William's speech at the end.
* ContinuityNod: The Thenardier Guards appear in chapter 3. Also, after her ponification, Verity's suffering a mental breakdown in the brig.
** Button Mash is alluded to in Chapter 3, and implied to have resurrected the song [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hcZE4pNLk0 Sunset City]] from ''VideoGame/SunsetOverdrive'' as an anthem of resistance.
** Also in Chapter 3, the characters, such as Dancing Day, Vinyl Scratch, Kraber, Aegis, and others end up listening to the King's Speech from Jed R's same fanfic. Kraber and Aegis are also mentioned as having met the characters of that fic.
* CoolTrain: Train 501, a refugee train driven by a 2-8-0 steam locomotive.
* CreatorProvincialism: According to Doctor Fluffy, who claims to have been to most of the places in the story. [[SceneryPorn It really shows]].
* {{Crossover}}: Kraber manages to view the world through his [[FanFic/TheAvatarOfAlbion Avatar of Albion]] counterpart at the end of "Philistine".
* DarkerAndEdgier: It's neck-in-neck with ''Last Train from Oblivion'' for the darkest story in the setting yet. It comes with the package given that the protagonist is the AxCrazy TokenEvilTeammate from the main story, and the first few chapters were set ''before'' his HeelFaceTurn, where he indulged in ColdBloodedTorture and enjoyed it, participated in multiple terrorist attacks against the nominal heroic faction, and [[WouldHurtAChild even killed some foals]] (who had already been crippled by the PER, by the way).
* DarkReprise: TCB!Pinkie apparently sang her "Smile Smile Smile" song when she ponified the birthday guests.
* DistantPrologue: Inverted - it starts a significant amount of time ''after'' the story starts, on a stolen steam locomotive in White River Junction.
* DyingAsYourself: In her last moments, [[spoiler:Reaper, a prototypical Pretty Private, has her former human identity resurface. She uses her last breaths to [[HeelRealization admit she was wrong about ponification]] and begs Viktor to kill her while her soul is still mostly intact]]. It's unclear if Viktor is hallucinating, though another pony, Caduceus, was there to witness it, but we don't know what she thought of it.
* FictionalDocument: There are several pieces of in-universe interview quotes, excerpts from books and other pieces of the news pertaining to the situation. In particular, the HLF.
* ForegoneConclusion: Numerous segments take place in the HLF settlement/shantytown called Defiance in the summer of 2022. Anyone remembering ''Case Files'' probably knows what the fate of the town will be. Oh, and Kraber has to live through it all.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Kraber often comments on future events of the fic - namely, ending up at rock bottom 3 times in four weeks. It hasn't been revealed just how this happens yet. At least one of them appears to be ending up alone in the middle of North Conway.
* FromBadToWorse: It's already been made clear that humanity is having trouble feeding itself. But making matters worse, it's revealed that the main story currently takes place during the winter, and humanity's capacity to grow food in the face of the apocalypse is only getting worse. And nobody wants to think about what happens the winter ''after'' that...
* GaiasLament: According to reports from PHL scouts, higher primates besides humans and certain whale and dolphin species are also killed on contact with the barrier. Other animals do survive but seem to react poorly to contact with the magic, and as mentioned in ''Calm Before the Storm'', the TCB!Equestrian colonizers are committing mass extermination campaigns against predatory wildlife in the places overtaken by the barrier.
* GunPorn: A lot of detail is given to the various firearms in-story, fictional or not.
* IAlwaysWantedToSayThat: Kraber apparently always wanted to say "Avast! I be Kapitan Kraber!"
* [[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming Idiosyncratic Chapter Naming]]: Each chapter, with the exception of "My Self-Defense Catastrophe" is named after a song. Most of them have been by Biting Elbows, [[AuthorAppeal a band that Fluffy likes.]] [[WordOfGod Word of Fluffy is that]] [[SuspiciouslyAproposMusic almost every Biting Elbows song can summarize Kraber's life and experiences.]]
* ImHavingSoulPains: People who avoided ponification through amputating their potioned limbs are still occasionally hit with strange and disturbing feelings and echoes of the potion's magic. Considering that the potion ''literally'' [[spoiler:shatters the soul of its victims and binds it in chains to the Tyrant's will if allowed to do its work]], this makes a lot of sense.
* IHaveNoSon: Michael Carter disowns Verity upon seeing her ponified form. Kraber was [[BerserkButton not pleased.]]
* {{Irony}}: During a flashback to his college years, a younger Kraber is rather contemptuous of American gun culture (that said, a later retcon mentions him as having grown up with guns) and disgusted on how gun companies profit from paranoia. If only he knew...
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: Kraber himself cracks a joke about his own ubiquity in the fanfic series, and Aegis being OutOfFocus:
-->'''Kraber:''' "Remember what you said about me hogging all the screen time... on interviews?"
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Impressively enough, considering that it's already part of the large ''Spectrum'' universe.
* MythologyGag: Apparently, Vinyl Scratch actually ''does'' have a dubstep dishwasher.
* NewOldWest: Appears to be heading this way, judging by the mentions of bounty hunters in chapter 2, combined with the general vibe of the Dancing Bear pub. And of course, steam locomotives.
* NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer: According to Kraber, the name of Sweet JP, the protagonist of ''Anime/{{Redline}}'', is 'James Punkhead'. [[TruthInTelevision He wasn't kidding.]]
* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene[=/=]KickTheDog: Chapter 2 is dedicated to this, showing both a highly illegal HLF checkpoint, and the HLF (and, prominently, Kraber) killing a family of PHL ponies that they rescued from the PER.
* {{Pun}}: Kraber refers to getting 'bloutrein' on a train that's mostly red. It's worth pointing out that 'bloutrein' means drunk.
* RealityIsOutToLunch: When Kraber dreams, or starts hallucinating, things get... ''[[NightmareFuel weird.]]''
* SanitySlippage: Kraber gets increasingly unhinged over the course of the first eight chapters. [[SanityStrengthening Of course, he gets better, as far as we know, but that doesn't make it any less disturbing.]]
* SceneryPorn: The bulk of chapter two is dedicated to this, culminating in an actual photo of Lake Umbagog that [[http://haruaxeman.deviantart.com/art/Lake-Umbagog-485373176 Doctor Fluffy himself took on a kayak trip in the area.]]
* ShownTheirWork: Though much of it is simple CreatorProvincialism, the setting is very accurate. And, as per [=TB3=]'s work, so are the various locomotives such as the 501.
* SpontaneousChoreography: Averted. Kraber, Vinyl Scratch, and Aegis break out into singing the song Sunset City... and promptly forget the lyrics midway through, atypically for ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''.
* StealthPun: In the quotes page for Part 2, Twilight analyzes one proto-pretty-private named Reaper, then promptly rejects it. [[spoiler: [[VideoGame/MassEffect2 She's dismissing claims of Reapers.]]]]
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Kraber gets several in chapters 8 and 9 for his violence, overall insanity, and FantasticRacism, enough that quoting all of them would be pointless. One of them is actually done ''in song'' - 'Philistine' from ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes2DesperateStruggle'' is one for Kraber's vengeful nature.
* TakeThat
** Besides [[FanFic/TheConversionBureau the obvious]], Clive Mudget is probably one to infamous anti-government rancher Cliven Bundy.
** And another one to the American open carry movement, with Kraber referring to them as kontgesigs.
** And another one to Seraph weapons from ''Videogame/{{Borderlands2}}'', with Johnny C claiming they were shite.
* RockBottom: Kraber regards his current state (almost penniless, homeless, no friends) as this early in Chapter 10. That said, he gets over it by the end, realizing that he's now mostly free to do what he wants without the HLF.
* TooDumbToLive: Scootaloo regards Kraber's plan to visit Littleton's synagogue (which isn't far from the PHL in White River Junction) as this. For that matter, so does he. In Kraber's defense, he doesn't seem to have planned to stay there for awhile, he didn't know of any synagogues, and it was the easiest.
* VillainEpisode: Focuses on the HLF.
* YourDaysAreNumbered: Lovikov promises that Kraber will die for the crime of letting ponies live at the checkpoint. [[SavedByCanon Of course, Kraber's going to live through it.]]
* WouldHurtAChild: Kraber finds that the PER had taken a family of PHL-affiliated ponies prisoner and subjected them to ColdBloodedTorture and [[spoiler: since this is his HLF days, he shoots them to death, laughing all the while. Though it's merciful compared to what he does to their father]].
[[/folder]]

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